MARTINSVILLE — Governor Ralph Northam announced last week that Martinsville Speedway has received $25,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) Marketing Leverage Grant Fund program.

In total, VTC awarded more than $965,000 for 44 tourism marketing projects across the state to help increase visitation and revenue for Virginia’s localities through tourism.

Martinsville Speedway received a $25,000 grant for its 2019 spring race weekend.

The speedway partnered with the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development’s tourism division and the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce to supply $30,000 in matching funds for the project to help promote the area on race weekend while driving tourism in the area throughout the year.

“We are grateful to the VTC for this grant and for their continued support of both the Martinsville Speedway and the tourism initiatives in Martinsville-Henry County,’’ said Beth Stinnett, assistant tourism director for Martinsville-Henry County.

“Virginia has strong roots in NASCAR and motorsports and racing continues to contribute millions of dollars into the Virginia economy each year,’’ Stinnett said.

The VTC Marketing Leverage Program is designed to increase visitor spending by leveraging limited marketing dollars, stimulating new tourism marketing through partnerships, and extending the “Virginia is for Lovers’’ brand.

A minimum of three Virginia entities must partner financially to apply for a grant.

Partners may consist of Virginia cities, towns, counties, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, other local or regional destination marketing organizations, private businesses, museums, attractions, cultural events and other tourism-related businesses.

In total, VTC awarded approximately $1.7 million annually – matched and leveraged on average 3:1 by partner dollars.

“As we celebrate 50 years of Virginia is for Lovers in 2019, it is so encouraging to see such tremendous partnership, initiative and growth within the tourism industry,’’ Northam said.

“Tourism partners from across the commonwealth have come together to create important new development projects and programs that will attract more travelers and increase visitor spending,’’ Northan said.

“These grant funds help destinations improve our communities, create jobs for our citizens and make Virginia an even ore attractive place for visitors and businesses alike,’’ Northam said.

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